Rossi resists Marquez to take victory at the Dutch Grand Prix
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi signed off a perfect weekend in the Netherlands by emerging victorious from a fantastic battle with Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez to extend his lead in the MotoGP championship standings.
Starting from pole position, Rossi led the opening laps of the race but was closely followed by Marquez throughout the twenty-six lap contest. After relinquishing the race lead to Marquez on lap twenty, Rossi was able to seize back the advantage with a few laps remaining and then held off an attempted pass by Marquez at the final chicane on the last lap to take victory by 1.242 seconds ahead of the reigning World Champion. A further thirteen seconds back in third place was Jorge Lorenzo, who after starting in eighth place on the grid was able to scythe through the field on his Yamaha M1 to secure a place on the rostrum. All riders on the podium selected the medium rear slick for the race, but although both Rossi and Lorenzo opted for the soft compound front slick, Marquez selected the medium compound front slick for the race and was the only rider to use this option for the Dutch Grand Prix.
Weather conditions were slightly cooler than yesterday but fine throughout the day, with a peak track temperature of 32°C recorded during the race. The stable weather allowed the riders to circulate at record pace, with Marquez setting a new Assen Circuit Record Lap time of 1'33.617 on lap four while Rossi’s race finish time was also a new record, beating the previous best race finish time by over twenty-five seconds. tire choice showed a strong preference for the soft compound front slick, with all the riders except Marquez selecting this option, while for the rear tire the field was evenly split, with twelve riders each selecting the soft and medium compound rear slicks.
Rossi’s third victory of the year helps him extend his lead over teammate Lorenzo to ten points, while Andrea Iannone consolidates third position on the championship table and sits 46 points behind Lorenzo after taking fourth place at Assen.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Today we saw a great battle for the race victory but in the end Valentino was too strong so congratulations to him and also to Yamaha for securing their sixth consecutive victory. I am happy that today we had the largest race day crowd at Assen since 2002 and it seems the great racing we are seeing on track is bringing more and more fans to MotoGP. I am very pleased that that new Circuit Best Lap, Circuit Record Lap and overall race time records were set this weekend, as Assen is a very demanding circuit and our tire allocation performed perfectly. I am sad to hear the news that Stefan Bradl broke his scaphoid in a crash during the race and I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is able to take part in his home race in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“It was a bit cooler today but generally the conditions were very similar to what we experienced earlier on the weekend. As a result, tire choice amongst the riders was the same that we saw yesterday afternoon in Free Practice 4 with almost every rider preferring the soft compound front slick. For the rear tire, it was evenly split between the soft and medium compound rear and both of these options performed very consistently over race distance. It was good to have a weekend at Assen with generally stable weather conditions as this allowed the riders to show just how quickly and consistently they could lap at Assen on our latest generation of MotoGP tires.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“This was a very important race for me as I was competitive all weekend and started from pole position. I pushed a lot for the whole race and my pace was very quick but Marc was able to stay close to me. I tried to play all my cards and my last two laps were really strong, but Marc tried to pass me into the last chicane but I was already through the corner. To take twenty-five points is important and it was a great victory here in Assen.”